Cefalù Cathedral
the chystro

Squaring the circle

Entering the cloister of Cefalù Cathedral not only means plunging into a path steeped in medieval art that seems to reawaken the different decorative motifs animating the capitals of the columns as we pass, but also being pervaded by an architecture of light.
In accordance with Christian symbolism, it is oriented so that each of its spaces is illuminated in a different way, following the orientation of the sun.
Following its itinerary, made up of the transcendence of the circle inserted in the immanence of the square, we are invited to embark on a spiritual journey of purification that begins where the light sets, symbolically linked to Adam and the Old Testament, and then reaches the New Testament dimension, pervaded by the radiance of the incarnation and the promise. Even the plants arranged in the garden have always represented an ascetic message, capable of enveloping those who walk through it in a sense of theophany that unfolds along the way.

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The rediscovered chapel

The chapel of the crucifix: an artistic casket based on a previous model

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Under the crosses of the Bema

The cemetery of kings

The plasticism of the main portico and Bonanno Pisano’s Monumental Bronze Door

The decorated facade

The architectural modifications ti the cathedral building after the death of Roger II and the transformations of the cloister

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The balance between architecture and light

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

A controversial interpretation

The Bible carved in stone

Thirteenth-century iconography decorates the nave’s wooden ceiling, designed with new solutions

Tempus fugit: a strategic project implemented in a short period of time

Survey of the royal tombs

The links between the hauteville family and the monastic orders in Sicily

The area of the Sanctuary

Ecclesia munita

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

The stone bible

The original design

A remarkable ceiling

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The mosaics of the apses

The southern portico

A compositional design that combines nordic examples with new artistic languages, over the centuries

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The cultural substrate through time

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The paradisiacal “Conca d’oro” that embraces Palermo: a name with countless faces through time

Mosaic decoration

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Transformations over the centuries

A palimpsest of history

The Cefalù cathedral: a construction yard undergoing a change between a surge of faith and control over the territory

The towers and the western facade

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A Northern population

The king’s mark

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Cathedral over the centuries

Squaring the circle

A tree full of life

The Virgin Hodegetria

The side Portico: a combination of elegance and lightness of form

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Worship services

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The columns of the nave: the meticulous study of the overall order

The Chapel of the Kings

The senses tell Context 1

The Great Restoration

Interior decorations

The longest aisle

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Roger II’s strategic design

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Palermo: the happiest city

The beginning of the construction site

The mosaics of the presbytery

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The marble portal: an intimate dialogue between complex ornamental aspects and formal structure

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The lost chapel

The chapel of St. Benedict

A new Cathedral

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The side aisles

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

From the main gate to the aisles: an invitation to a journey of faith